A Spanish technology center, founded in 1994, offers transversal, integrated and innovative solutions to companies to improve their processes, developments, systems and products. It operates in five economic sectors: i) industry, ii) energy and environment, iii) construction and infrastructure, iv) agro-food, and v) health and quality of life.
In recent years, consumer preferences have changed in the way the food is produced, processed, delivered and marketed. Consumer behavior has evolved towards the consumption of "fresh and natural" healthy food products. Modern consumers seek more natural products, less-processed food that keep all its nutritional properties, and easy to prepare (ready-to-eat). At the same time, consumers demand higher quality and safety, and more access to information of the products they consumed.
There are several techniques to extend the shelf life of cheese, as vacuum impregnation of an active protective coating. Methods for food preservation aim to maintain the quality, edibility and the nutritive value of the food along time. Cheese is a versatile dairy product, widely consumed in Europe, thus the extension shelf life of this product through suitable techniques is key to keep the right characteristics of the product and avoid economical losses due to its deterioration.
The technology center has broad experience in optimizing processes in the preservation of cheese and other food products. The agro-food division of the center has developed different formulations of coatings based on polysaccharide and protein concentrates complemented with antifungal and antioxidant compounds obtained from natural sources. The natural preservative coatings offered are applied by immersion technologies suitable for hard and semi-hard cheeses and its commercialization can be delivered in powder or stable solution.
The technology center offers its facilities and know-how to companies interested in using this new preservation method, especially to cheese producers. In this way, producers will improve the quality, hygiene and shelf life of their products and the food security of the company, introducing this customized coating in the production processes.
The partners sought are agro-food companies, in particular cheese producers, interested in applying the new coating formulation to preserve their products and introduce this method into their production process, through a technical cooperation agreement. The center is open to another type of agreement depending on the interests of the partner.
And for a research cooperation agreement, entities (companies, universities or research and technology centers) interested in participating in EU funding programs in the field of food technology to develop new products or new technologies to improve the food systems.